Two weeks

It’s been two weeks since I had a drink.
For the most part, I feel amazing.  Anxiety is at the lowest level I’ve had in YEARS.  I’ve lost weight as well as a lot of the bloat in my face. My mood has improved by leaps and bounds.  I’m getting lots of wonderful quality sleep at night and wake up rested.  My blood pressure and pulse rate have dropped dramatically.  I remember eating and going to bed at night!
These are all fantastic things.
But I’m not going to lie.  I wanted to drink tonight.
I’ve been doing relatively good, thus the no blog entries.  I come home from work, take my CBD oil and relax on the couch and or prepare dinner.  Haven’t really had the desire to drink this week.
However I was in on foul mood today.  I honestly have no idea why.  I got good sleep, I’m two weeks out from my period so I’m not PMSing, but everything in my body felt like I was.  From my irritability to my wanting to eat everything on the planet.  I couldn’t figure out what it was, but on the way home tonight I kept thinking how I could sure use a drink.  And it’s Friday after all so…
I didn’t, but I was probably closer than I’ve been since I first quit.  Of course I’m glad that I didn’t.  I suppose the draw will always be there and given that I’m still in the beginning phase, it will probably even get stronger as time goes by.
All I can say is that tonight, I did not drink.
Going to be busy this weekend so I’m not too worried about cravings.  Gonna love on the Hubs as it’s our anniversary.
I guess that is all I have right now.  Kinda sleepy and hungry so I’ll probably get something to eat and head to bed to read.
I’ve read two full books in the last two weeks and I’m loving it.  

I’m still here

I didn’t blog yesterday, but don’t worry – I didn’t drink.  (I love how I write like people are actually reading this thing.  Ha!)
I was just tired and went to bed early.  That meant I got a WONDERFUL nights sleep.  Eight solid hours!  It was glorious!
Today I’ve been feeling out of sorts.  I have this weird rattling/gurgle thing going on in my stomach and chest.  I’ve had it for almost a week I think but today it was very prominent.  Couple that with the fact that I haven’t been able to pass gas, and I’m a bit worried about my insides. 
It’s not the first time I’ve had a case of gastritis, it happens when I eat too many nuts and I have been lately.  The rattling/bubbling feeling is new though.  And of course I hop on the GoogleWebs and the first thing that pops up is perforated guts. 
Anxiety girl sprang into action and panic ensued.  That is a slight exaggeration, but I do admit that it is freaking me out quite a bit.  I’m not running a fever, so there is that.
Anyhoo.  I was also feeling some heart palpitations tonight.  Put that together with the stomach thing and it did not make for a good evening.  I drank some Poweraid Zero tho and felt better.  That tells me that my electrolytes are messing with me again.  I will be so glad when I get the test results back and visit my doc so we can get to the bottom of this.
Craving drinks tonight, but that is normal.  I was going to type that I wanted to drink tonight, but that isn’t really the truth.  I don’t want to drink.  What I want is to numb myself so I don’t have to worry about these possible health issues.  That is what I did for the last 20 years.  Ironically that might be why I have the health issues in the first place.
I don’t really have much to post about tonight other than this.  I am going to go eat my salad and go to bed to read.  I really need to get out of the habit of eating right before bed, but that is what I have done for so long because of the drinking, it’s weird to think of eating at a normal hour.  Won’t I be hungry again before bed? 
All things to work on. 

Is it getting easier?

It seems easier tonight.  I’m not sure if that is because work was relatively easy today, or if because I had to stop at the pharmacy to get Hubs meds – therefore killing a half an hour of time that I would normally be sitting here at home feeling sorry for myself that I can’t drink.  Or even if it is as stupid of a reason that I’ve lost more weight and the bloat has left my face.  It’s so nice to see my cheekbones again.  I’ve missed them.
I’m not saying it’s EASY…just a little easier.
Today at work we celebrated a pretty big anniversary of one of our co workers and there was a champagne toast.  There was only like an ounce in each glass because we were still at work, but I opted for the sparkling cider instead.  Not really a huge deal for me, since I rarely partake in a work environment.  That is just a recipe for disaster in my opinion.  I’ve seen many a coworker make an ass out of themselves in front of people that they shouldn’t have. 
Plus I have never really drunk much in public in the last 15 years or so.  If I did have a drink, it was A DRINK and then I would switch to soda or something similar (unless you count multiple trips to Vegas).
There are two reasons behind that.  The first is that buying drinks at a bar is flipping expensive.  The second and most important is that I didn’t want to make an ass out of myself in front of friends and or co-workers.  I also have a lot of friends that are in recovery.  To my knowledge, they do not know that I am a drunk.  I might have an occasional social drink at some sort of event, but more than likely (OH! Reason # 3!), I wouldn’t have any because I was driving.
No, instead I would go home and drink.  I would have a good time hanging out with friends and calculate how long before is not longer impolite to duck out of the party so I could go home to my cheap, crappy vodka.
The good news about that is that going out and socializing shouldn’t be a big deal to me as far as stopping the drinking.  That wasn’t the way that I imbibed.  I’m a closeted drinker that would rather do it in the privacy of her home where no one can know and or judge me for it.
It’s actually being at home that has been tough for me.  Ironically going out and socializing, coming home late and tired would be an asset to me not drinking.  Heh.
Yes, I have to say tonight is a little easier.  I’m looking forward to heading to bed and reading. 
I have been an avid reader since I was a child.  I read books in my tweens and teens like it was going out of style.  It shaped me and made me want to be a writer.
I gave up a lot of reading when I started drinking because I was more focused on getting drunk than on anything else.  So I watched a lot of TV and movies instead.  Not as enjoyable in my opinion.
I love laying in bed and reading.  I love going to bed and making small talk with my husband before we drift off — and REMEMBERING it the next day.
I have to think about these small things when I’m feeling sad.

Sadness and Grief

Sadness and Grief were not the two words I would have thought I would use to describe my stopping drinking…and yet, here I am.
First of all, I’m an emotional wreck.  I tear up at the drop of a hat, be it happy or sad tears.  I didn’t anticipate this, but I guess it is normal.  When something was such a huge part of your life for so long, I suppose it is just natural to grieve the loss of it.  It’s just not something that I thought about when I thought about quitting.  I knew I would miss it, but I didn’t realize the extent.  It’s pretty major.
I guess I’m really not ready to talk about that part without becoming a big sobby mess so I’ll just leave it at that for now.
In other news, I got about six and a half hours of sleep last night, but it was REALLY GOOD SLEEP.  🙂  I woke up feeling tired, but not like I normally did when I had drunk the night before.  I actually woke and played on my phone for a half an hour instead of hitting the snooze button until the last possible minute.
At work I was really productive and didn’t feel the horrible grogginess and fuzzy headedness that usually accompany me on a Monday after a weekend binge session.   In fact I didn’t even start to feel like I was running out of steam until late afternoon.  Normally I’m ready to tap out by noon at the latest.  Heh.
The last half hour or so though I started to feel anxious.  Knowing that I couldn’t drink when I got home.  How in the world am I going to relax after a full days work without it?  It’s the times when I used to anticipate and look forward to “relaxing” when I got home that make me feel the most anxious/sad.  And I understand why.  This has been my crutch for almost half my life.  That’s a tough one to get over, and I don’t anticipate the sorrow going anywhere any time soon.  That sucks out loud.
Just had a convo with Hubs.  He didn’t realize quite what I was doing with all this.  He thought I was just taking a couple days off so we just had a heart to heart.  He is of course 100% behind me, but now that he realizes what I’m doing he wants to be here more to help me out.  I appreciate that more than I can say.  He’s been through what I’m going through and that fact is priceless to me.
We haven’t gotten any answers yet, but his support is just what I needed to hear tonight.
Random thing I noticed: My allergies are gone.  I’ve been allergic to my dogs as long as I’ve had them.  I sneeze, I snot, and blow my nose multiple times a night to the point where the basket is overflowing.  This is a daily thing when I forget to take my Nasacort.  Since I stopped drinking, I’ve barely had a sniffle!  What’s up with that?  No seriously, what is up with that?  Is that common?
Anyhoo, time to eat some dinner and go lay down and read.  I’m getting A LOT of reading done.  🙂

68 hours

68 hours since my last drink.
Last night was soooo much better as far as sleep went.
I went through all of yesterday feeling hungover, not because I had drunk the night before (I hadn’t) but because I couldn’t sleep withOUT the alcohol and only ended up getting around four hours of fitful sleep.
Last night I took some CBD oil, some herbal calmatives and went to bed around eight.  I read my book until my eyes got heavy and put it down.  I had some jerky moments when I was on the cusp of sleep that woke me up, but instead of reaching for the book again, I let myself try to relax.  It finally worked around ten and I was able to successfully sleep throughout the night with only minor waking when the dogs were restless or my husband snored too loudly.  However, I was able to get back to sleep easily after.
I really really really hope this keeps up.  I don’t think I can function at work on Monday with another sleepless night like I had Friday.
Interesting tidbit.  My fitbit showed that my resting heart rate is considerably lower through the night than it was when I drank before bed.  I had read that alcohol raises your pulse, but I never put THAT much thought into it.  You would think it would lower it because the booze “relaxes” you, but that is not the case.
On a drinking night (EVERY NIGHT), my heart rate never dipped below 78 and mostly stayed in the 90s sometimes spiking to the 100s.
Last night it never went above 89, stayed mostly in the 70s and went as low as 63!
I found that very informative.  Especially given the heart episode I had on Friday.  I’ve been making my poor ticker work way harder than it needed to!
Today we got up around 8:30 and headed out to see Hub’s mom in the hospital. There is a stretch of freeway on the way there that usually gives me anxiety.  I didn’t notice until after we passed it that I hadn’t even thought about it to get anxious.  It just didn’t occur to me.  After that it was grocery shopping.  It was weird to not pick up a couple of bottles of vodka.  I still picked up my soda that I use as a chaser because as I mentioned last entry, it helps me somehow to still have that routine to go into the kitchen and get a drink – even if it is only sparkling water.
We got home a few hours ago.  Today feels easier.  Less anxiety about not drinking.  Less anxiety overall and that comes FROM the not drinking and getting a good nights sleep.  It is so bizarre to me that the very thing that I was anxious about not doing was the very thing that GAVE me the anxiety in the first place!
My face wasn’t as red and puffy as it normally is in the morning.  In fact I’ve lost three pounds in the last two days.
I know it is super early in the game and I am thankful for these small positive things to keep me motivated.  You would think it gets easier from here, but from what I’ve read it just gets harder.
Two weeks from now my husband is taking a solo trip for a little less than a week.  That will be a test!  Me, all alone in the house with no one to answer to.  Not that he cared that I drank before (other than my health), but that is how my brain works.  Like that of a child that is left alone to be naughty and can get away with it.
I can’t predict what I will do.  I can only try to do my best.

40 hours

Welp, it took a little longer than I said it was going to, but I finally went without a drink last night – for the first time in a while – and not just because we had been out at a social engagement and come home late.
No, my reason was much scarier than that. 
Yesterday, while at work I had sudden onset of rapid heartbeat.
Now, it is no secret that I am prone to panic attacks, and said panic attacks cause a rapid heartbeat, but this just came out of the blue for no reason and it happened SO FAST!
I was sitting at my desk eating pecans and musing that I must be so hungry because I was still on my period, when all of a sudden it felt like my heart went out of rhythm.  Like three weird beats and then it just started hammering.  I quickly grabbed my heart rate monitor and put it on my finger – it registered 130.  I immedietly felt a panic flush and that sent the heart rate even higher climbing to 150.  My heart has never gone that fast and all in a matter of seconds!  My regular resting pulse is around 80 and all I was doing was sitting down.
Long story short (mostly because I don’t want to relive it and set myself into a panic again), my coworkers laid me down in the break room and called my husband.  They had me do deep breathing and I was starting to calm down by the time Hubs got there. 
He took me to urgent care, they did an EKG and said that it indicated that I might be deficient in electrolytes.  Calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and potasium.  Apparently those being low on one or more of those things can cause Arrhythmias.  He ordered me to go get blood work done, which I did and we went home.  I won’t know anything about the tests until next week.  The doc told me if it happens again to go to the ER.
Here’s the thing.  Hubs and I are both on Keto diets and have been for the last two months.  I know that these diets can flush out all of the above electrolytes.  I haven’t been supplementing them a whole lot but I have been trying to drink a lot of water.
Here’s the other thing: Alcohol abuse also robs you of all of those nutrients.  I’ve been giving my body a double whammy.  And I’ve been doing it with the alcohol for 20 years.
It scared the shit out of me.
I had never felt so out of control and helpless about my health as I did at work yesterday.  And I never want to again.  EVER!
I have been lucky at a lot of things in my drinking career.  My last batch of blood work showed my liver levels to be fine.  But clearly all the years of drinking are taking a toll on my ticker.
Last night Hubs had a gig that I had planned to attend since it was fairly local.  I stayed home obviously and he asked me very nicely to not drink.  And if I did, to at least “be kind to” myself and don’t go overboard.
The sad thing is – as scared as I was of what had just happened, I was almost more scared not to drink.  Seriously.  When you have gotten drunk pretty much everyday for the last 20 years, give or take a few vacation, it is scary to think of not being able to do so.  It’s also scary to wonder about withdrawals.  Will it hurt my heart even more NOT to drink?  If I start to have withdrawals, will that cause even more damage?  So many fears and questions about the unknown.
Hubs tried to take a nap when we got home and I hopped on the interwebs and researched all things electrolytes, hearts and alcohol abuse.  All signs pointed to NOT GOOD.
When Hubs left around 7:00, I still hadn’t had a drink.  I had taken some CBD oil and that was helping with the anxiety and fear of not drinking.  I also grabbed one of my usual “chasers” (sparkling water) and went into the kitchen to have a few sips periodically to help with losing my “routine”.
At that point I was past the point of hunger where nothing in our fridge appealed to me.  I didn’t want to stay in ketosis that night after what had happened with my heart.  I grabbed an old lean cuisine pizza from the freezer and ate half of that.
I took an herbal calmative supplement and attempted to go to bed and read.  I read for hours.  I would read for a while, put the book down and try to sleep, not be able to sleep and start reading again.
I know that part of this was because I was worried about being alone in my house in case I had another episode, but mostly it was the lack of booze.  There was no lubricant to make me sleepy.  I’ve gotten to the point in my drinking that I cannot sleep without it.  That alone speaks volumes.
I was still awake when my husband got home at two in the morning.  Sooo tired, but not sleepy.
I got up and we talked about his show and how I couldn’t sleep.  He told me to go have drinks if I needed them, and I love that he is so non judgemental about it.  But I didn’t.  I took some more CBD oil and attempted to go back to bed.  I read some more.
I finally dropped off somewhere after 3:30.  I slept fitfully.  I would start to fall asleep and jerk myself awake.  This happened very often, and every time it did I would get scared that I was having a withdrawal induced seizure. (Guys, living in my brain is no joke!  No wonder I drink!)
I reckon I got about 4 hours max of restless sleep.
So while I didn’t drink last night, I woke up feeling kind of hungover from lack of sleep.  I laid in bed and read for another two hours before showing my face in the bright daylight. 
Hubs is currently napping because he got about as much sleep as I did.  I wish I could nap.
Dude, alcohol withdrawal insomnia is no joke!
I’ve just taken my first dose of CBD oil for the day.  On a normal Saturday with no plans I would be two hours into the vodka by now.  Even though my husband isn’t asking me not to drink today ( I think he thought I would just go back to my routine if I didn’t have any further complications last night) I am determined not to. 
I’ll find out in an hour or so if it is more difficult for me to not drink when he is home or away.  Last night was hard, but at least I didn’t have to make small talk, or talk about how I was doing.  I feel like that will make me more anxious.
So there it is.  I’ve been 40 hours without a drink as of right now.  It’s freaking boring.